20 Myths about Suicide, Debunked.

20 Myths about Suicide, Debunked.

Hey all,

So if you follow my blog, you will be aware that I posted about my experience with suicide in a previous post, if you haven’t read it, then you can find it under the “Mental Health” section of my site.

1.”If you really wanted to do it, you wouldn’t tell people. It’s just a cry for help or being done for attention”

Fact:One of the biggest things I have read, noticed or, actually had said to me throughout my teenage and adult years is that people who talk about committing suicide or tell someone they are going to commit suicide is only doing it for attention or that it’s a cry for help. I’m not a qualified medical profession of any kind, but I know from my own personal experience it is complete and utter bullshit. 

Yes, some people do tell others as a cry for help, some sick idiots may also do it just for the attention, but as someone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts the majority of my life I can honestly say that any time I have spoken about out it to a friend, it has not been for attention or a cry for help, it has been merely because I wanted someone to know I was going to do it and where to find the letters I had left to family members.

2. “Ring the Samaritans, they will help you”

Fact: I do not disagree that the Samaritans may have saved some lives. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that they aren’t qualified to stop you ending your life if you want to. They will talk to people and try to talk them around by using the “it’s good to talk” tactic. They are made up of volunteers, some of them being Trainee Counsellors, but they can’t intervene or save your life.

When I first contacted them all they did was make me feel like they were patronising me, their responses were just questions and “I understand, tell me more”. It did nothing for me other than anger me, so if you want to talk to someone, phone charities such as Mind (U.K.). I will leave details for other charities you can contact if you are feeling suicidal.

Go to your GP and let them know, as well. This can be an emergency appointment or routine. They will put you in touch with fully qualified professionals such as Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychotherapists and Psychiatrists.

3. “Suicide is impulsive”

Fact: Some people think that suicide is impulsive and that people do it as an easy way out, again, this isn’t the case. I don’t know about you, but I have never just woken up one day, broken and nail and thought “fuck this I’m going to kill myself”. Most are at their absolute wits end with life, seeing no way forward and no way out. There is a tonne of reasons why people commit suicide such as being unable to deal with a loss be that a bereavement in the family or a break up of a marriage. Another huge reason for death is due to debt; people can’t see a way out even on Debt Management Plan’s (DMP’s), which is sad because someone needs to do something about that. There has been an increase on the number of people committing suicide due to debt, death should never be an option when it comes to debt, but I fully understand why people do it, it’s a hopeless feeling being in so much debt and having no one to save you. Sometimes it’s you’re own fault, but most times it’s because something has happened which has caused the person to take on an additional financial burden. 

4. “Only women commit suicide”

Fact:WRONG! In fact, the only place in the world where female suicides are equal to or exceed male suicide is in China. Women are more likely to have suicidal thoughts, but males are more inclined to act on their depressive feelings. 

5,981 people committed suicide in the U.K. in 2012, more than three quarters (4,590) were male. In the U.S. 38,000 people took their own lives in 2010 and of those 38,000 people, 79% (30,020) were men. What is so upsetting about this (other than the number) is that even in 2018 there is STILL  a stigma attached to suicide and mental health. Shocking, I know, despite more and more people speaking up about their experiences with mental health, there are still people out there with the warped outlook on suicide.

5. “Suicidal Teens overreact to life causing them to commit suicide”

Fact: This one, this one actually infuriated me. These are kids, kids who are going through hormonal changes, life-changing events (divorce, sexuality, etc.) and who have people like Youtubers and celebrities to look up to. Magasines covered with stick thin individual’s airbrushed to perfection, being told that being slightly overweight isn’t sexy. Let me tell you, young ladies, there is nothing sexier to a man than a bit of meat on their girls’ bones. I was once a size 6 at my smallest and I looked ill. I’m now between a size 10 and 12 and a healthy weight, I’ve mummy hips (as I call them) despite not having any children and my husband loves them. I remember reading somewhere that a woman being a healthy weight with a bit of curve is sexy to a man because he knows that she can provide enough nutrition to their unborn baby, or something like that.

6. “You have to be mentally ill to think about suicide.”

Fact: Most people have thought of suicide from time to time and not all people who die by suicide have mental health problems at the time of death. However, many people who kill themselves do suffer from mental health conditions, typically to a serious degree. Sometimes it’s known about before the person’s death and sometimes not.

7. “People who talk about suicide aren’t serious and won’t go through with it.”

Fact: People who kill themselves have often told someone that they do not feel life is worth living or that they have no future. Some may have actually said they want to die. While it’s possible that someone might talk about suicide as a way of getting the attention they need, it’s vitally important to take anybody who talks about feeling suicidal seriously.

8. “Once a person has made a serious suicide attempt, that person is unlikely to make another.”

Fact: People who have tried to end their lives before are significantly more likely to eventually die by suicide than the rest of the population.

9. “If a person is serious about killing themselves then there is nothing you can do.”

Fact: Often, feeling actively suicidal is temporary, even if someone has been feeling low, anxious or struggling to cope for an extended period. This is why getting the right kind of support at the right time is so important.

10. “Talking about suicide is a bad idea as it may give someone the idea to try it.”

Fact: People feeling suicidal don’t want to worry or burden anyone with how they think, and so they don’t discuss it. By asking directly about suicide, you permit them to tell you how they feel. People who have felt suicidal will often say what a huge relief it is to be able to talk about what they are experiencing. Once someone starts talking, they’ve got a better chance of discovering other options to suicide. However, unfortunately sometimes even talking about it won’t stop someone from committing suicide.

11. Seeing a Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Psychiatrist means you’re crazy.

Fact: No, it doesn’t! That is such a misconception which is derived from stupid American movies, it’s just not true. Yes, people who suffer from mental health conditions such as Schizophrenia are deemed to be “nutcases”, but in reality, they aren’t. People do not know enough about these conditions and their automatic reaction is negative. There is a good video on living with Schizophrenia that Chris from Special Books for Special Kids did with a lovely lady named Cecilia who talks a bit about what it is like living with Schizophrenia. Please give SBSK a follow, he is on Youtube and Twitter. Chris is doing incredible work to get the word out there on different disabilities. You will no doubt need tissues especially when you hear Kayne’s story, Mike’s story, Anciee’s story and so many more.

12. “Children can’t be suicidal because they don’t know what suicide is.”

Fact: Children as young as nine have committed suicide, it’s a touchy subject, but children have committed suicide in the past. It’s awful; but real, while they may not know precisely what the word suicide means, doesn’t mean that children cannot feel enough despair that they can no longer go on and quite often they’ll not understand the feelings they are feeling (depending on the age, of course). 

Young children do take their lives. In the United States each year, about 30 to 35 children under the age of 12 take their own lives. It’s hard for a lot of us to imagine that a child that young a 5-, 6-, 7-year-old — could know what it means to say, ‘I want to kill myself.’

They do intend it, and they do sometimes take their lives. Oftentimes, by running into traffic and getting hit by a car. We don’t know a lot about young children taking their lives. The suicide prevention literature kind of begins at age 12 to 14. It’s worrying as to put it into context a group of 35 children is classroom size, that is a classroom full of children that have taken their own lives.

13. “If you commit suicide, it’s a sin and you’ll go to Hell.”

Fact: Of course it’s not, for those who have faith they will know that God forgives all of their sins. I’ve been told it’s in the Bible, I’ve yet to find it, but that’s besides the point. If you feel that you can’t go on, that God isn’t listening, or the plan he may have for you isn’t what you want it to be if you really are at the point of no return then not even your faith will stop you, but you shouldn’t have to have the additional weight on your shoulders of you being sent to the depths of Hell because the Hell you live in on earth makes you want to escape it by death.  

14. “Suicide is caused by long-term Depression”

Fact: Not everyone suffering from Depression is suicidal like I said it’s not as if you wake up one day and think “fuck that for a picnic”, but it also doesn’t mean if you aren’t depressed that you can’t feel suicidal. It can happen to anyone, at any point in time and provided you get the help you need; you can get through it.

15. “Suicide is a permanent feeling and the thoughts never go away”.

Fact:  Feelings of suicide can and will disperse provided you get the right help. When I say help, what I mean by that is, going to your GP, talking to your friends, family or someone close to you. Reading up on suicidal thoughts and educating yourself on the feelings you are having. Death is the permanent solution to a short-term problem. Nothing is going to last forever, you will get past that debt, you’ll get stronger from the abuse you suffered, the bullying won’t last forever, just because you are attracted to the same sex, doesn’t mean you aren’t an amazing person. To the people that abuse or bully you, just remember that karma will get those bitches. Again, there are a lot of other charities to speak to that also provide a tonne of information on suicide, the feelings of suicide and other information on where to get help.

16. “Most individual’s that commit suicide remain uncertain right up until the last moment.”

Fact: That’s just not the case, for a lot of people it’s been a long time coming, it’s premeditated and they’ve often planned the venue, the cause of death, if letters are going to be left, getting their accounts together (closing bank accounts, social media accounts, email accounts and so on). I planned my funeral, I planned my music, what I wanted to wear and that I wanted to be cremated. I didn’t want it to be a religious ceremony as my friends have different faiths, I planned that I wanted the cheapest coffin possible, what I wanted in my coffin with me, where I wanted my ashes spread and that I didn’t want a gravestone. 

17. “People wish for death”.

Fact: Computer says “no”, people don’t wish for death, they wish for their pain to stop. Anyone feeling or has committed suicide hasn’t done so because they want to be dead, it’s because they are in so much emotional and physical pain that they cannot take it anymore. They want to relieve themselves of the torment they are in.

18. “It’s my fault they are suicidal; I did something to make them that way”.

Fact: Suicide is so complicated, it’s not just one little thing you have said or done that has made someone that way. Many things can contribute to someone’s feelings of suicide and despair. The feelings and thoughts of a suicidal person are based on factors mostly outside of your control. It could be their interpretation of a stressful situation or belief that their future is hopeless and bleak with no light at the end of the tunnel.

19. “There are no warning signs that someone may be suicidal.”

Fact: There are often warning sides, you need to know what to look for. There may be physical signs such as a loss of energy, not wanting to get out of bed in the mornings, not motivated to go to work or the gym or to socialise. There may also be behavioural changes like emotional outbursts, someone may be overly weepy, overly angry or become very distant and quiet.

20. “You are selfish if you commit suicide, suicide is a selfish act.”

Fact: No, no it’s not. For those reading this and disagreeing with me, stop, think about it. Do you not believe that the person who has had suicidal thoughts hasn’t thought about that? About leaving their loved ones behind? You don’t think they feel immense guilt for what they are doing? That they don’t wish that the pain they were feeling could be fought off? That they don’t already know people will judge them because they don’t understand the pain they’re is going through?

Many people who attempt suicide feel like they are a burden, and family and friends will be better off without them. The person may feel hopeless, and it is difficult for them to imagine that things will get better. The last thing anyone in that situation needs is someone adding more guilt, pain and trauma to them. Like I said before, “educate yo’ self.”

So, that’s it peeps. I hope you found this helpful and I’d be interested in your comments on this topic, I appreciate it’s triggering for some. I hope you have learned something you didn’t already know. 

Be respectful and be mindful when talking about this topic as someone’s miseducation is another person’s pain.

Liked it? Take a second to support northernirishgirlonline on Patreon!